OxyFile #279

Treatment of macular degeneration, according to Bangerter. 

Teichmann KD 

King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital P.O. Box Riyadh 7191, Riyadh 
11 462 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 ++966 1/482 1234 ++966 1/482 1908. 

Eur J Med Res, 1997 Oct, 2:10, 445-54 


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual 
loss among elderly patients. Although some risk factors have been 
determined, the ultimate cause of the disease is not known. For a 
long time, therapeutic nihilism has been the rule among 
ophthalmologists confronted with such patients. Bangerter has not 
shared this attitude, especially since the time that he 
incidentally discovered, more than 40 years ago, the beneficial 
effects of radiotherapy, in discouraging the growth of new vessels 
at the posterior pole of the eye. A variety of approaches are 
combined and used by Bangerter in the treatment of the different 
types of AMD, including retrobulbar injections of either 
vasodilating medications (in the dry - or atrophic - type) or 
corticosteroids (in the wet - or exudative - type), general 
medical measures aimed at improving metabolic and vascular 
functions such as supplementation with trace elements, 
antioxidants, and vitamins; ozone therapy; advice to increase 
physical fitness, improve nutrition, and abstain from smoking; and 
protection from excessive light exposure. Being convinced of the 
usefulness of his type of combination treatment, he has always 
rejected undertaking controlled clinical trials, of only single 
aspects of the therapy, as unethical and invalid. For this reason, 
scientific journals have not proven cooperative in several 
attempts at publishing his results, as collected in retrospective 
surveys. Recently, however, some of the several approaches 
combined by Bangerter in treating AMD have been pronounced 
effective by other investigators. We present here an overview of 
his treatment approaches, as few people are aware of them, to 
clear up misconceptions and to set records straight.